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Polymer produced from CO2 waste gas makes commercial debut

By Chemical Engineering |

For the first time, polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polyol, a versatile polymer made from CO2, is available at a commercial scale. Produced by Novomer Inc.’s (Waltham, Mass.; www.novomer.com) polymerization process, PPC polyol has been adopted into a formulation for polyurethane hot-melt adhesives by Jowat AG (Detmold, Germany; www.jowat.com). In addition to PPC’s status as a “green” alternative (via CO2 waste utilization) to traditional petroleum-based polymers, adhesives applications can take advantage of a key benefit of PPC — its hydrolytic stability and chemical resistance, which set it apart from typical polyester polyols. PPC is manufactured via a batch reaction between CO2 and propylene oxide using a proprietary cobalt-based catalyst (for more on this PPC production process, see Chem. Eng., July 2013, pp. 16–19). PPC capacity has been scaled up considerably in the past year at a production facility in Houston. In 2013, production capabilities were less than 100 tons, but recent commercial interest necessitated an increased volume, so the process has been scaled up to produce PPC in the multi-thousand-ton range. The reaction occurs at a moderate temperature (around 35°C) so the process is easily scaleable from a heat-transfer…
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